Morning routines are so important to shaping the rest of your day. From when you wake up to how you fuel yourself, the first few hours of the day really do matter. A friend of mine at Law School would wake up 2 hours earlier than they needed to, because they were a slow morning sort of person, and this was the only way they could meet this need.

A better morning routine can mean a better day. And many better days can really transform the very fabric of our lives.

So here are 5 ways that you can improve your morning routine, starting today:

1. Start the Night Before

Have you had this feeling – you go to sleep, full of plans for the next morning. You’ll wake up early, do some movement, eat a good breakfast, maybe even journal for half an hour, or dedicate some time to your hobby. And then, right on queue, your brain starts whirring faster and faster. Before you know it, it’s 2am and you’re counting down the hours before you have to get up. When you finally wake up to your alarm, you feel groggy and no longer up to doing any of the stuff you promised you’d do the night before.

This is why a good evening routine is so important to a better morning routine. We like to wind down for an hour before bed, by leaving all electronics downstairs and heading up to read with a mug of Bedtime Blend. We also try not to eat anything sweet after 7pm – sugars are metabolised differently to other foods, especially if they’re processed, which can lead to a restless night. Instead, we cure our sweet cravings with some Butterscotch. Finally, keeping your bedroom cool can make a real difference to the quality of your sleep. So make sure you air your bedroom on hot days an hour or so before sleep.

2. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To

A good way to motivate yourself to wake up is to give yourself something to look forward to. Whether it’s a yoga class with an instructor you really like or a breakfast that you really love, giving yourself something to literally get up for in the morning can make the difference between a successful morning routine, and a few more pushes on the snooze button. Which leads on to:

3. Fuel Yourself

Some of our favourite breakfasts are those that take a little bit more effort, but feel a lot more like self-care than pure routine as a result. Josh makes an amazing porridge (recipe coming soon!) but in the meantime this one is also great. We like using seasonal ingredients to top our porridge, like figs or raspberries in the summer, persimmons in the autumn and apples with nutmeg and cinnamon in the winter. Another great alternative for a more savoury tooth is this soda bread recipe. Soda bread is great because it doesn’t need to prove, and goes really well with plain butter, a poached egg, or some avocado on toast with extra chillies!

And, of course, a cup of tea is a staple for our well—fuelled mornings. A big mug of Breakfast in the Buff or Masala Chai never goes amiss, and I make my mornings extra decadent by brewing my Masala Chai with some brown sugar and a big splash of milk.

4. Normalise Rest

Mornings aren’t just about productivity. They can be an extension of the rest you allow yourself in the evening, a sort of bookend of self-care to give yourself permission to relax at the beginning as well as end of your day. Some of the nicest mornings are when you get up super early just to light some incense, make yourself a slow cup of tea, and journal with no aim in mind.

5. Ritualise Your Mornings…But Shake It Up Too

Rituals lend some weight to the otherwise mundane. Small processes repeated with reverence can make the difference between trivialising and romanticising the day-to-day. With this in mind, having a routine for the morning, no matter how short, made up of a few mindful actions repeated every day, can really make a big difference to a better morning routine.

But it’s important to listen to your body to. Our bodies, like all organic matter, follow a cycle in time with the seasons. Summer mornings may be active, full of energy, and productive. Autumn and Winter mornings may be slower, more contemplative, and aimless, in the best sense of the word. Establish a new routine whenever the seasons or your body calls for it.